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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-12-2009, 12:34 PM   #51
Phillip Garrison
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
What you are saying then, is that as a trainer, you feel comfortable telling the average Joe, non-competitive (yet very enthusiastic) wanna be, powerlifter that he's fit (therefore healthy...because in the eye of the general populous, they are one in the same) simply because he can squat/dead/bench a decent amount of weight? What about the runner that barely qualifies for Boston? Would you be willing to tell him that he's fit and healthy?

There is a difference between being "fit" for a sport and being "fit." CrossFit seems to be the exception to this rule however: the better you become at CrossFit, the better your markers of health become, and vice versa. Find me another sport/activity that can say the same, all the way from beginner to elite levels and I'll be willing to continue this conversation.

- Alex
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:46 PM   #52
Alex Europa
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Old 03-12-2009, 01:31 PM   #53
Sam Ser
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Phillip Garrison View Post
I don't see how what I've said is not constructive or argumentative. But my definition of "fit" is the ability to perform the tasks you want to do very well. For example a gymnast would not define the skills of a CF'r as fit. The ability of a elite marathoner to run a sub 2:30:00 race but not be able to do 3 pull ups would not be seen as fit by a CF'r. So "fit" depends on what you want to do.
um, no.

note what i said above about the obfuscation of the term "fitness" with the term "competency." what you are referring to is competency for a specific task. fitness, as a broader term, would require competency at several tasks as part of its definition. (other health factors would also be included.)

one is not "fit" at gymnastics, one is competent in it. one is not "fit" at marksmanship, but rather competent in it. (likewise, one is not "fit" at math but competent in it.) certain skills may require a high level of fitness to execute but, fitness being equal, it is technical mastery that sets one competitor apart from the other.

said another way: if you and i are to compete in a race, and you and i have the same cardiovascular capacity and the same strength and the same build and we both are free of sickness -- but i already know the route of the race and you are bound to miss the turn that takes you to the finish line, then i will win and you will not. and fitness will have had nothing to do with it.

...once again: the original poster's intention was clearly to have a standard for competency in crossfit. it is easy to confuse this for fitness because, while competency comes into play for the technical aspects of crossfit (gymnastics and olympic lifts, for example), crossfit's other focus on work capacity demands a high level of fitness.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:23 PM   #54
John Alston
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Bob Long View Post
Question: What is considered fit?

Answer: Whatever Coach Greg Glassman says is fit. It's his board, not mine, not yours.
Nice. You'll fit in around here.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #55
John Alston
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Alex Europa View Post
There is a difference between being "fit" for a sport and being "fit." CrossFit seems to be the exception to this rule however: the better you become at CrossFit, the better your markers of health become, and vice versa. Find me another sport/activity that can say the same, all the way from beginner to elite levels and I'll be willing to continue this conversation.
- Alex
Oh come on man, let's see some proof here - wait, we don't have it.
- b/c you're totally speculating.
Your idea is only valid within a certain range. Untrained people getting better at xfit will track with getting healthier - like with most sports at that level.
This correlation will continue - like with many/most sports - but only to a point.

At some point, getting better at xfit - pursuing ever increasing performance - will no longer correlate with health and wellness.

Can't you see how the pursuit of mastery of xfit could easily lead to overtraining, injury (see board) and all the other long term ill effects we see from all professional sports? People burn out when they go hard enough for long enough.
You're deluded if you think that the modality dictated by xfit is immune to this problem. It's boring but true that extreme pursuit performance takes its toll on health.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #56
Bret Ellis
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
Oh come on man, let's see some proof here - wait, we don't have it.
- b/c you're totally speculating.
Your idea is only valid within a certain range. Untrained people getting better at xfit will track with getting healthier - like with most sports at that level.
This correlation will continue - like with many/most sports - but only to a point.

At some point, getting better at xfit - pursuing ever increasing performance - will no longer correlate with health and wellness.

Can't you see how the pursuit of mastery of xfit could easily lead to overtraining, injury (see board) and all the other long term ill effects we see from all professional sports? People burn out when they go hard enough for long enough.
You're deluded if you think that the modality dictated by xfit is immune to this problem. It's boring but true that extreme pursuit performance takes its toll on health.
John, unfortunately you too are speculating. How can we be sure that continuing the "getting better at CrossFit" will in fact at some point deviate one from health and wellness.
As far as injuries go...heck, I "injure" myself more in the mundane everyday things, like stubbing my toe the other night on the bed frame. That crap hurt.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:27 PM   #57
Sam Ser
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
At some point, getting better at xfit - pursuing ever increasing performance - will no longer correlate with health and wellness.

Can't you see how the pursuit of mastery of xfit could easily lead to overtraining, injury (see board) and all the other long term ill effects we see from all professional sports? People burn out when they go hard enough for long enough.
You're deluded if you think that the modality dictated by xfit is immune to this problem. It's boring but true that extreme pursuit performance takes its toll on health.

well, technically, it would be impossible to master crossfit when you're overtrained or injured... so learning when to pull back, and making sure your form is good enough to avoid injury, would be part of mastery.

just as crashing a car is not an inevitable result of driving a car, or even of driving it fast, overtraining and injury are not inevitable results of crossfit or any other exercise protocol.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:39 PM   #58
Phillip Garrison
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Sam Ser View Post
um, no.

note what i said above about the obfuscation of the term "fitness" with the term "competency." what you are referring to is competency for a specific task. fitness, as a broader term, would require competency at several tasks as part of its definition. (other health factors would also be included.)

one is not "fit" at gymnastics, one is competent in it. one is not "fit" at marksmanship, but rather competent in it. (likewise, one is not "fit" at math but competent in it.) certain skills may require a high level of fitness to execute but, fitness being equal, it is technical mastery that sets one competitor apart from the other.

said another way: if you and i are to compete in a race, and you and i have the same cardiovascular capacity and the same strength and the same build and we both are free of sickness -- but i already know the route of the race and you are bound to miss the turn that takes you to the finish line, then i will win and you will not. and fitness will have had nothing to do with it.

...once again: the original poster's intention was clearly to have a standard for competency in CrossFit. it is easy to confuse this for fitness because, while competency comes into play for the technical aspects of CrossFit (gymnastics and olympic lifts, for example), CrossFit's other focus on work capacity demands a high level of fitness.
You apparently missed the the posting where I stated that by most people's definition, a CF'r would be very fit.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #59
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by Sam Ser View Post
well, technically, it would be impossible to master CrossFit when you're overtrained or injured... so learning when to pull back, and making sure your form is good enough to avoid injury, would be part of mastery.

just as crashing a car is not an inevitable result of driving a car, or even of driving it fast, overtraining and injury are not inevitable results of CrossFit or any other exercise protocol.
No, but pushing the envelope increases the injury risk substantially. If you never drive faster than 70 mph, you'll never hit a wall at 150 mph. If you never get on a high bar, you'll never injure yourself trying to land a tricky dismount. And if you never lift heavy weights, you'll never injure yourself by lifting them badly.

Elite athletes, by definition, push themselves to the edge of their capabilities. The suggestion that elite CrossFitters are somehow immune to the overtraining and injury risks faced by elite athletes in other sports is, IMO, ludicrous.

Even at non-elite levels, CrossFit's entire methodology depends on pursuit of intensity. While no one thinks DOMS is a good thing, I'll bet many people on this board would say that if you've never experienced it, you aren't getting the most out of CF. We talk about scaling, but the very phrase "as Rxed" suggests that doing the workouts as specified is the ultimate goal. Every affiliate has a white board so that members can see how they measure up. Many individual Crossfitters obsessively track their own performance. In an environment specifically designed to harness human competitiveness, people are going to stay within their limits on every workout all of the time? You've got to be kidding. Not going to happen. And as soon as pushing the limits becomes desirable, injuries become inevitable.

Which is not to say that CrossFit is bad, or that CF is more risky than other forms of intense training. Just to suggest that shooting the messenger doesn't invalidate the message.

Katherine
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:17 PM   #60
Alex Europa
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Re: What is considered fit?

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Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
Oh come on man, let's see some proof here - wait, we don't have it.
- b/c you're totally speculating.
Your idea is only valid within a certain range. Untrained people getting better at xfit will track with getting healthier - like with most sports at that level.
This correlation will continue - like with many/most sports - but only to a point.
This may sound crazy, but I'll take Greg Glassman's word for it; he's been on the front lines doing this for a very long time - and I'd be willing to be that he DOES have the proof. I don't think any affiliate owner would say that Greg lacks character or is dishonest, so what reason do I have to believe that he is saying anything that he doesn't find to be true? I would be willing to bet that if challenged regarding his new 3D Model of Fitness and Health, he would have data on many of his top performers to show that they are directly inline with this "speculation." The better people get at CrossFit (elites included) the better their health becomes. This intuits very well for me, simply because of the need for the body to become balanced in order to excel at CrossFit. Other sports don't require this and nearly always overemphasize one aspect of fitness over another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Alston View Post
At some point, getting better at xfit - pursuing ever increasing performance - will no longer correlate with health and wellness.

Can't you see how the pursuit of mastery of xfit could easily lead to overtraining, injury (see board) and all the other long term ill effects we see from all professional sports? People burn out when they go hard enough for long enough.
You're deluded if you think that the modality dictated by xfit is immune to this problem. It's boring but true that extreme pursuit performance takes its toll on health.
Sam hit this one perfectly. You CAN'T master CrossFit, nor can you demonstrate high levels of work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains if you are routinely injured or overtrained. Additionally, it's funny that as an affiliate owner and having been around since 2005, you are making a very typical "outsider" mistake. Go back to the injury forum and determine the average level of CrossFit experience/ability amongst those with problems. Now, look at the members of your own gym. I would have to imagine that you'll find the same thing that I do: experienced CrossFitters don't seem to (routinely) get injured doing CrossFit, or at a minimum, that the rate of injury decreases significantly as one becomes more proficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ser View Post
well, technically, it would be impossible to master CrossFit when you're overtrained or injured... so learning when to pull back, and making sure your form is good enough to avoid injury, would be part of mastery.
- Alex
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